In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to know about strength training for climbing. We’ll cover everything from the types of exercises to the best times to train.
So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, this guide will help you take your strength training to the next level. Let’s get started!
Types of Strength Training For Climbing Exercises
There are two main types of strength training exercises for climbing:
Anaerobic exercises: These are high-intensity exercises that last for a short period. Examples include sprinting, lifting weights, and plyometrics.
Aerobic exercises: These are lower-intensity exercises that can be performed for a more extended period. Examples include jogging, cycling, and rowing.
Both types of exercises are essential for climbers, but most of your training should be focused on anaerobic exercises. That’s because these exercises are more specific to the demands of climbing.
For example, when you sprint, your body works at a high intensity for a short period. This is similar to what happens when you’re climbing a challenging route.
On the other hand, when you’re jogging, your body is working at a lower intensity for a more extended period. This is not as specific to the climbing demands and is not as effective for improving your climbing performance.
Of course, you can’t train at a high intensity all the time. That’s why it’s important to include both types of exercises in your training program.
How to Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Climbing Routine
Now that you know the exercises to focus on let’s talk about how to incorporate them into your climbing routine.
The first thing to understand is that strength training should be done in addition to regular climbing workouts. In other words, you shouldn’t skip your regular climbing sessions in favor of strength training.
Instead, think of strength training as a supplement to your regular climbing routine. It’s something you can do in addition to your regular workouts and will help you become a more vigorous climber.
When it comes to how often you should strength train, it depends on your goals. Starting, you may want to train 2-3 times per week.
As you get more experienced, you can increase the frequency of your training. Make sure you’re not overtraining and giving your body enough time to recover between sessions.
Finally, let’s talk about how to structure your strength training workouts. When starting, it’s a good idea to keep things simple.
Start with just a few exercises, and focus on quality over quantity. Then, as you get stronger, you can add more exercises to your routine.
But no matter how many exercises you’re doing, ensure you’re giving each one your full attention. The last thing you want to do is half-ass your way through a workout.
Simple Climbing Strength Workout
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a simple workout that you can do 2-3 times per week:
As you can see, this workout includes a mix of pulling and pushing exercises and some squatting and lunge variations. These are all great exercises for climbers and will help you build a strong foundation of strength.
Don’t worry if you can’t do all of the reps at first. Just focus on doing as many as you can with good form, and then increase the number of reps as you get stronger.
Intermediate Climbing Strength Workout
If you’ve been strength training for a while, you may be ready for a more challenging workout. Here’s an intermediate workout that you can do 2-3 times per week:
Pull-ups: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Push-ups: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Chin-ups: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Dips: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Bodyweight squats: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 12-15 reps (per leg)
Step-ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (per leg)
Plank: 3 sets of 60-90 seconds
This workout includes all of the exercises from the previous workout, plus some additional exercises to challenge your muscles even further.
As you can see, there’s a lot to this workout, so it may take some time to get through the sets and reps. Just take your time, and focus on quality over quantity.
Advanced Climbing Strength Workout
If you’re looking for an even more significant challenge, here’s an advanced workout that you can do 2-3 times per week:
Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Chin-ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Push-ups: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Bodyweight squats: 3 sets of 20-25 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 15-20 reps (per leg)
Step-ups: 3 sets of 12-15 reps (per leg)
Plyometric push-ups: 3 sets of 5-8 reps
Burpees: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Plank: 3 sets of 90-120 seconds
This workout is not for the faint of heart. However, it’s packed with challenging exercises that test your strength and endurance.
You’ll be in great shape if you can make it through all the sets and reps. Make sure you warm up properly before starting this workout and listen to your body if you feel overtrained.
Most people know that strength is essential for climbing. After all, the more muscle you have, the easier it will be to pull yourself up a rock face.
But many climbers don’t realize that there are different types of strength, and each type is essential for different aspects of climbing.
For example, endurance is essential for long routes, while power is vital for dynos and challenging boulder problems.
This is why it’s essential to tailor your strength training to your specific goals. By doing the right exercises, you can ensure that you get the most out of your workouts and improve your climbing.
Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!
Body Capable’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; we encourage you to seek out a medical professional whenever necessary.